A cheesy takeaway twist on high tea and multi-course meal kits are just two ways Leura Park Estate has reinvented its offerings amid COVID-19.
“We realised we had to adapt fast and we did – this is not the time to sit around and wallow in self-pity or be like a rabbit in the headlights,” says Leura Park Estate’s Lyndsay Sharp.
“Around 80 per cent of revenue across the business was decimated overnight.”
The estate owns Jack Rabbit Vineyard and Flying Brick Cider Co, which have been closed since March.
In response the estate launched High Cheese at Home and Jack Rabbit at Home.
Locals can enjoy the “Flying Brick institution” of High Cheese, based on the concept of high tea, by taking home a plethora of varieties with matched beverages, Lyndsay explains.
Jack Rabbit at Home, on the other hand, offers locals a chance to feel like a chef in their own kitchen.
“We’re bringing a taste of Jack Rabbit to your home with meals nearly ready to eat – all you need to do is finish them off,” Lyndsay says.
“The response has been very positive and the culinary team is looking at introducing new menu items each week.
“That’s been great for the morale of our awesome kitchen teams, it’s a version of doing what they love and do best – cooking great food.”
Lyndsay has a straightforward philosophy to surviving the daily uncertainty of COVID-19.
“We all realise that this is a situation beyond our control,” she says.
“We’re rolling up our sleeves, staying calm and focusing on what we can control, and doing those tasks to the best of our ability.”
That includes keeping Leura Park Estate’s cellar door open seven days a week from 11am to 6pm.
And currently, the estate is holding a ‘barrel shed sale’ with premium wines at less than half price.
“I’m bringing in new wines every day to keep things interesting,” Lyndsay says.
Curlewis Golf Club, owned by Leura Park Estate, also remains open with strict regulations to protect golfers.
Along with adapting to the pandemic, keeping staff engaged and checking on their morale and mental health has been a priority, according to Lyndsay.
“Everyone copes differently, so we are regularly communicating with everyone via email and manager-to-team calls,” she says.
“Most of us are pining to return to a bustling workplace and hospitality buzz. We are in this industry because we love people and providing a great experience.
“During closure, all venues have been scrubbed, repaired and varnished up to their eyeballs.
“We can’t wait to reopen – there will definitely be a few tears of joy when we throw open the doors.”